When a serious relationship breaks, psychologically our natural response to it is very similar to that for a traumatic event. The period post breakup is full of blurry visions of the future and absolutely no energy to be mindful of the present. We experience emotions like guilt, denial, confusion, shock, grief, anger and many more that we at times try to resist and at times get drowned in them.
Being in a relationship entails a sense of belongingness to a person and getting accustomed to a life with them in it. Hence, coming out of a relationship is followed by a natural period of grieving that is almost certain to last for some time in every individual’s case. However, working around a few things can bring a significant change in our lives
How to cope?
- Give yourself a break
Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. You may not be able to be quite as productive but no one is a superman or superwoman. Take time to heal and re-energize.
- Don’t be alone in this.
Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships, and overall health.
- Don’t resist your feelings.
It’s normal to have lots of ups and downs, and feel many conflicting emotions. It’s important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the grieving.
- Talk about how you’re feeling.
Even if it is difficult for you to talk about your feelings with other people, it is very important to find a way to do so. Knowing that others are aware of your feelings will make you feel less alone with your pain and will help you heal. Journaling can also be a helpful outlet for your feelings.
- Know that you still have a future.
When you commit to another person, you create many hopes and dreams. It’s hard to let these dreams go. As you grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones.
- Know the difference between a normal reaction to a breakup and depression.
A breakup can be paralyzing, but after a while, the sadness begins to lift. Day by day, you start moving on. However, if you don’t feel any forward momentum, you may be suffering from depression.
- Surround yourself with positivity.
Surround yourself with people who are positive and who truly eager to listen to you. It’s important that you feel free to be honest about what you’re going through, without worrying about being judged, criticized, or told what to do.
- Get professional help if you feel the need.
Reaching out and seeing a counselor or joining a support group can do wonders. The most important thing is that you have at least one place where you feel comfortable opening up.
A breakup is a highly stressful, life-changing event. The trauma of a major breakup can leave you psychologically and physically vulnerable. Learning to take care of yourself is one of the most valuable lessons you can learn following breakup. As you learn from your experiences, you can take better care of yourself and make positive choices going forward. Hence, it is very important to keep in mind few self-care tips:
- Follow a routine.
A relationship breakup can disrupt almost every area of your life, amplifying feelings of stress, uncertainty, and chaos. Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcy.
- Take some time.
Try not to make any major decisions in the first few months after a separation, like starting a new job or moving to a new city. If you can, wait until you’re feeling less emotional so that you can make better decisions.
- Nurture yourself.
Help yourself heal by scheduling activities you find calming and soothing. Go for a walk, listen to music, enjoy a hot bath, get a massage, read a favorite book, take a yoga class, or savor a warm cup of tea.
- Avoid alcohol, drugs, or food to cope.
When you’re in the middle of a breakup, you may be tempted to do anything to relieve your feelings of pain and loneliness. But using alcohol, drugs, or food as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run.
- Learn a lesson.
Every bad experience or emotional crisis is an opportunity to grow. After breakup ask a few questions to yourself and try to find clarity of what happened. Hence, acknowledge the part you played in what happened and feel stronger than before.
- Step back and have a pilot view. How did you contribute to the problem?
- Do you tend to repeat the same mistakes?
- Do you adopt constructive or destructive ways of dealing with stress and insecurities?
- Do you consider accepting people the way they are or how they “should” be?
- Did you focus on negatives more than positives? Do you tend to do that usually?
At the end of each day, ask yourself, Is this the end or a new beginning?